"Had to get one"
If you are truly looking for a strat with all the characteristic traits that make a strat a strat, then this is it. You will get some hum, but the trade off is a pickup sound like you read about. Beautiful strat sounds. Playability? It IS a strat, so you still have to work for it, but the radius of the neck feels great. Every note on mine( and all the ones I tested to get here) ring true, and chords ring true and three dimensional. If you haven't tried one, don't delay.....try one soon.
Case feels a little cheap( at least the hinges), but I didn't get it for the case! Includes the ashtray cover and the trem arm, along with standard case candy.
Ease of Use:
Custom-shop like quality. I do however you try one thru a tube amp. That's where the pickups really shine, sparkle and cluck!
Fit and finish are a 10. NO complaints here. Don't need to bring a backup guitar unless it just makes you feel better. The action on mine was a little high, but that was easy enough to remedy. 15 minutes later it was rocking the bedroom!
I'll give an 8 here, because personally I feel it shouldn't cost more than $1300, but I spent more than that.
The Wow Factor:
Not a huge Johnson fan, but after trying several out, I had to have it. And I've been a fan of the Strat for many years.
Waiting for it to age gracefully. Should last many, many years.